Child Drug Arrests Rise 22% In Birmingham Over Five Years
West Midlands Police arrested 50 14-year-olds for drug possession and dealing offences last year in Birmingham.
The number of children arrested for drug possession or drug dealing in Birmingham has increased 22% over the last 5 years.
There were a total of 3,340 arrests of children aged between 10 and 18 in the city between 2015 and 2019.
599 arrests occurred in 2015, compared to 730 in 2019, an increase of 22%. In 2016, 744 arrests took place, while in 2017, there were 670. There were 637 in 2018.
In 2019, a total of 50 14-year-olds were arrested for drug possession and dealing, along with 6 13-year-olds, plus two children aged just 11.
The data was sourced by media literacy charity The Student View.
Superintendent Rich Agar, from West Midlands Police, said: “Possessing drugs is a criminal offence and is unacceptable regardless of your age. Drugs cause untold misery within our communities and ruin lives.
“But we’re also aware young people can be groomed and exploited by County Lines drugs networks to do their dirty work. We’ve had cases where children who were initially arrested have later been treated as victims to bring down a drugs kingpin.
“We’re working with our partners to identify children who are being used, under duress, by such gangs so we divert them away from a life of crime.”
Why did students choose to cover this story?
The students said: “We feel as it is a major problem in certain areas in Birmingham. This portrays a negative image on our generation and because of this, we want to change that perspective for the better.”
How did the answers make our journalists feel?
“The results we have received were shocking, and we feel that the council and other important individuals have not done a lot of things to help fix the issue.”